Edmund Lewandowski (1914-1998)
The Michael Scharf Family Collection
Edmund Lewandowski (1914-1998)

Industrial Plant

Edmund Lewandowski (1914-1998)
Industrial Plant
signed 'E.D. Lewandoski' (lower right)
watercolor and pencil on paperboard
image, 15 ¾ x 21 ¼ in. (40 x 54 cm.); overall, 19 ¼ x 23 ¾ in. (48.9 x 60.3 cm.)
Executed circa 1938.
The artist.
Ralph Graves, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, gift from the above.
Private collection, by descent, 1999.
Guggenheim Asher Associates, Inc., New York.
Private collection, California, acquired from the above, 2000.
Sotheby's, New York, 3 December 2009, lot 28, sold by the above.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
W.C. Agee, et al., The Scharf Collection: A History Revealed, New York, 2018, pp. 148-49, 178, pl. 80, illustrated.

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William Haydock
William Haydock

Lot Essay

William C. Agee writes, "Industrial Plant is a watercolor, and so by definition a softer, more pliant type of painting, but it is also a celebration of modern America and its ever growing industrial might. The subject is fitting for the artist, who was born in 1914 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the heartland of America, where much of the country's industry was centered. [Edmund] Lewandowski (1914-1998) is the youngest artist in the [Scharf] Collection--a half-generation younger than Crawford and a full generation younger than Sheeler, with whom he might be compared. Like Stuart Davis in his thirties, he combined two modes prevalent at the time: planar Cubism in the walls, with a literal description of a stagelike setting for the interplay of a complex, organic mix of the curvilinear. This watercolor might reference the sprawling Illinois Steel Company, Milwaukee Works plant, which closed a year later in 1939, as Lewandowski is known to have painted the blasted furnaces at that particular site in 1938." (The Scharf Collection: A History Revealed, New York, 2018, p. 148)

The present work was originally gifted by Lewandowski to Ralph Graves of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who had been the artist's high school art teacher.

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